Whose responsibility?

  1. 0
    An R.N. was recently suspended by the Florida Board of Nursing. And even more recently, she was arrested by the Sarasota County Sheriff's Department, charged with 174 counts of unlicensed practice of a health care profession.

    In June 2005 she applied for a job and tested positive for cocaine. During the summer and fall of 2005 the Department of Health officials investigated her test results. In September of 2005 the nurse applied to an area hospice, passed the drug test and was hired. They confirmed she hada valid license. November of 2005 the Department of Health probable cause panel the the top offical signed off, instructing the BON to discipline the nurse. In June of 2006 they hear her case and order her license suspended, her into the impaired nurses program and continuing education. In July, 2006 the BON renews her license for another two years. She continues to work and is terminated in November of 2006. The BON and the Department of Health have stated it is not their responsibility to notify any employer of any suspensions. In August of 2007 she is arrested for the above offenses.

    Question

    Who do you think should be responsible for notifying an employer? The suspended nurse? The BON?:angryfire The Department of Health?:angryfire

    Woody
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  3. 11 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Would like more details - such as a website - please.
  5. 0
    Are there not any regulations addressing exactly this? I did not know that the Dept of Health even got involved. I don't think they do in Arizona. Maybe for the sake of safety, all of the above should notify employer. I'm sure the BON can mandate that the nurse inform the employer, but I know of one RN in particular whose license were suspended in AZ. Her original license was in Delaware, not sure if BON notified them of the discipline, but in the meantime, this same nurse obtained a license in Cali. At the time the license in Cali was issued, her issues were still under investigation. Shortly after obtaining the Cali license, her AZ license was suspended. So, she is happily working in Cali.
    So, maybe there aren't any regulations and should be?
  6. 0
    it is the employee's responsibility to report to prospective employer.

    but...
    when the prospective employer asks for license, i think it is responsibility of employer to check license against BON website, to check status.
    if employer had done this, they would have seen licensee was suspended.

    checking status of license should be as automatic as checking references.

    leslie
  7. 0
    I feel it should be the nurse's responsibility. S/he knew that s/he was practicing without a license -- the employer correctly validated the license on hiring her, but they can't check every employee's license every day to see if someone's lost her/his license! Likewise, I don't think it's the BON's responsibility to keep up with who each nurse licensed in the state is working for. In my state, the BON publishes the results of disciplinary actions (which are public record) in the monthly newsletter and I believe that's the case in most states -- I think that's sufficient notification.

    If we want to be taken seriously as professionals, a big part of that is being accountable for our own practice, and that means taking responsibility for licensure. S/he broke the law and knew it.
  8. 0
    Quote from elkpark
    -- the employer correctly validated the license on hiring her, but they can't check every employee's license every day to see if someone's lost her/his license!
    elk, have you ever checked on the status of a license?
    it really is as simple (and quick) as punching in the license # and the result pops up.
    i checked my license # on the bon website- punched in my # and it popped up as "active".
    took me 10 seconds once i got to the right page.

    leslie
  9. 0
    I say everyone. While of course, the nurse with the suspended license owes an explanation, why should she if she can get away with it? I know it is not ethical, but if a person thinks they can get away with murder, they will continue to do it (Look at OJ Simpson for example...)

    I think that the previous employer should inform the perspective one, and the BON does as well. But the perspective employer should have checked the BON website for the information themselves if they are really interested in protecting the interest of their patients and facility.
  10. 0
    strangely enough, in the state where I work, all you have to do is go to the BON and type in the person's first and last name. Bingo. Their license # and status appears.

    while I don't necesarily agree with how simple it is to check the validity of the license in this state (I think you should at least have to have the license # or the soc sec # of the person to get to their status), I guess it is for the greater good.

    I think both the nurse, the BON, and the employer is on the hook for reporting status. Or at least SHOULD be.
  11. 0
    Quote from leslasic
    while I don't necesarily agree with how simple it is to check the validity of the license in this state (I think you should at least have to have the license # or the soc sec # of the person to get to their status), I guess it is for the greater good.
    It's a matter of public record, which the license number and SSN are not. Name is enough.

    As to who is responsible - I don't know legally. But you can bet if I heard my license were suspended I'd be into my DON's office with the letter in a heartbeat - which would have been after I contacted NSO to defend me.

    www.nso.com for malpractice insurance and/or to defend you at the BON.
  12. 0
    In TX the BON sends out a quarterly newletter that has listings of nurses that have suspensions, disciplinary actions, etc. Every hospital I have worked at has someone review it to see if anyone is on the list. Now that you can go online and check the status of a license, it isn't difficult to find out. But then, usually most employers only check licenses on a yearly basis. A nurse that practices without a valid license is only demonstrating their unprofessionalism. I still can't get over that people steal license numbers off the internet and then make up a fake license to practice when they have never even been to nursing school. I keep wondering why nobody catches on sooner that these people are not real nurses.


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